Near Phrase, Near Exact, Near Enough!
So Google is rolling out yet another innovation to their keyword matching options. Google claim to be improving exact match and phrase match by allowing matches to close variants such as singular and plurals, misspellings, acronyms and stemmings.
Cynics may be forgiven for thinking this is just another Google lever designed to increase traffic and therefore, increase Google Adwords spend. They may also point out that Yahoo already did this with their Standard Match but then the Search Alliance will ensure that Google stand alone with this notion, so good timing really!
Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?
Ok, so we may not need to worry about the children but what about the small businesses who have less time to spend on managing their Adwords accounts? They could be the ones that suffer unaware of the increased traffic heading their way. However, they could benefit also and short of heading straight for the Latitude Express website, the near phrase and near exact matches will save precious time in ensuring they have covered all relevant keyword variations with Google’s matching technology doing the leg work.
But I Just Restructured My Google Account!!!
Yes, this could mean a re-think on your account structure but all is not lost – you can simply opt out by trawling through your campaign settings and navigating to…well see the image below:
On the plus side, the notion that less is more can really be applied here. All those misspellings you generated; the careful categorising of singular and plural variations; the meticulous grouping of keyword stemmings and the clever pursuit of acronyms no longer need to be catered for. Why analyse 50 keywords when you can analyse 10? Just be sure that that keyword performance of one variation does not vastly differ else you will lose a degree of control.
Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth!
It might be best not to look a gift horse in the eye either if you watch the Apprentice but I digress. Google say, “We’ll use your exact keyword, and not close variants, to determine your Quality Score and first page bid estimate”. Great! If you have a singular version of your keyword with a lower Quality Score than the plural, then that sounds like a quick win to me and should make for some pretty easy decisions when it comes to refining keyword selection.
The Glass is Half Empty
So what about negative matching? When the time comes you will be able to see your search term match types described as ‘Exact match (close variant)’ and ‘Phrase Match (close variants)’ in search query reports. This will give you the opportunity to assess what you are being matched to and allow you to apply negatives accordingly. This will also help you identify which other keywords in your account are being cannibalised so you can develop your account accordingly.
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You!
Google could have announced that this would be rolled out on the 15th May but that would have been too exact, so expect it sometime in mid-May and be sure to monitor your account. Latitude certainly will be monitoring how this develops and we’ll tell you exactly what we think about it…or near enough.